Taco Bell Offers Free Tacos To Dieters

Someone in Taco Bell’s marketing department is unclear on the concept of “losing weight,” or else just completely amoral (hence the marketing job), because the company is “sponsoring” Oklahoma City residents who have taken part in a weight loss challenge by giving away free tacos. To be fair, these “fresco crunchy tacos” are less than 200 calories each (the company says 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, but this independent analysis puts it slightly higher). But still—tacos? Free tacos to people who are trying to lose weight?

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett says, “[Taco Bell] got on board really early and we helped them promote those items hoping people would take advantage of it.”

He goes on to say, “They said when you get 100,000 pounds, we have a special prize for everybody in Oklahoma City and sure enough here it is. Everybody in Oklahoma City gets a free fresco taco.”

Taco Bell promotes its “Fresco menu” as having 9 items under 9 grams of fat, but somehow we don’t see fast food tacos with mystery meat as part of a healthy diet. Probably some angry reader will say we’re being restaurant elitists for assuming that just because a food is cheap it’s worthless, and at least Taco Bell is offering something healthy to eat. But considering that 45-50% of the Fresco taco’s calories come from fat, we have a hard time equating “Taco Bell” with “nutritious diet.”

Update—a reader sent in the following:

As many commenters in that story pointed out, meat grading is entirely optional, and has absolutely nothing to do with it’s fitness for human consumption. (Indeed, the optional grading takes place after the required approval for human consumption.) Meat is largely graded by the degree of fat marbling throughout the meat. Given that ground beef would chop any fat up into tiny little bits, no matter how nicely marbled, it would be kind of silly for a ground beef producer to pay extra to have the meat graded.

So, of couse Taco Bell doesn’t know the grade of their meat, as it likely doesn’t have one. If you went to your local grocer, you would discover that almost all of the ground beef there was ungraded also. To imply that Taco Bell uses “Mystery Meat” simply because they use ungraded beef is really quite unfair to Taco Bell. There are a lot of things you could point out when arguing against eating at Taco Bell, but their use of ungraded beef is not one of them.

“Taco Bell Rewards Metro Residents” [KSBI-TV]